We are working every day to make our world a better place. Interested in joining us or have any questions? Contact Amy Allon, [email protected]
UPCOMING EVENTS & PROGRAMS:
Tikkun Olam News – Summer 2020
Dear Temple Emanu-El Family,Our Mitzvah Day was such a success and there was so much enthusiasm as a result that our committee wanted to let our congregants know of continued ways they can help the Jewish and greater Birmingham community, especially with the need for meals and food for the pantries in the city. The need for food for meals and pantries will probably not abate until people are able to return to work or find new work, as the pandemic eases.
If you choose to lead, we will help you organize the effort including the recruitment of volunteers. Our committee is here and prepared to help you at a regular interval or on a one-time basis. Here are the opportunities to get involved:
- Lead an effort to provide 80 lunches to Community Kitchens. If you are interested in organizing for this need, please contact Amy Allon.
- Lead an effort to provide meals for First Light, a homeless shelter for women who need lunches and dinners. If you are interested, please reach out to their volunteer coordinator, Deborah Everson. We would love to have them be able to count on us at various intervals.
- Collat Jewish Family Services has a Senior Grocery Initiative in collaboration with the Community Food Bank providing two full bags of groceries for their clients once a month. If you are interested in helping to pick up the bags and deliver to their clients, please click here for more information and to sign up.
- The Levite Jewish Community Center participates in the Farmers to Families initiative providing a box of produce to those in the community in need every Thursday from 11 to 1. To volunteer and for more information, click here.
- The Levite Jewish Community Center continues to provide lunches Monday through Friday through the Hello Kindness Project headed by Natalie Asman. For more information on how you can donate to the lunches, please contact Natalie Asman. To sign up to help prepare and serve the lunches, click here.
- We will be having our High Holy Day Food Drive again this year. More details will follow on our new way for donations to be delivered as well as getting them to the agencies we serve every year which Greater Birmingham Ministries, Family Promise, Collat Jewish Family Service, Urban Ministry, and Grace Episcopal Church.
- Meals on Wheels in Jefferson County needs volunteers to take meals to their clients. For registering and getting more information, click here.
- Urban Ministry needs donations for their food pantry. Please click here for more information to donate.
- Greater Birmingham Ministries needs donations for their food pantry. Please click here for more information to donate.
- Food for your Journey is an initiative to feed the homeless in various areas of the city. They are accepting 20 sack lunches Monday through Friday to be delivered to Brother Bryan Park between 2 and 2:30 each day. Please consider making these sack lunches with a group of your friends, colleagues, or our committee can help you meet this need. These lunches can include bottled water, sandwiches, fruit, anything that you would like in such a lunch. The contact person is Kelly Green or Amy Allon.
- Participate in phone banking to get out the vote with other Jewish community members in collaboration with Faith in Action. There will be a zoom meeting to prepare the phone bank. Our first date is August 4th and 6th. This can be done from your home. Please contact Amy Allon, Sheri Krell, or Diane Slaughter to let us know of your interest by July 21, 2020.
Thank you for your continued support of the Jewish and greater Birmingham community. If you have suggestions and/or ideas you would like to be involved with the Tikkun Olam committee, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].
Temple Emanu-El Tikkun Olam Committee
Temple Emanu-El Clothing Bank
For small agencies that work with people in need, donated clothing can present both benefits and problems. The Temple Emanu-El Clothing Bank seeks to ease that problem by receiving, processing, pre-sorting and distributing items in good condition. Agencies can contact us to “order” the clothing and household items they really need, instead of spending time and space sorting through big black garbage bags of random stuff. We are also currently providing large donations to agencies such as Greater Birmingham Ministries.
We gratefully accept all donations of clothes, shoes, and household linens for all sizes and genders. Because much of what we collect goes to homeless men, we always need more men’s jeans, casual pants, knit shirts, sweats, shoes, and socks. Everyone wants socks!
Receipts are available at the reception desk.
A huge thank-you to the members of our congregation for your generous donations to the Temple Emanu-El Clothing Bank! Many people in need in Birmingham are now enjoying fresh “new” clothing.
Like everything else during this pandemic, the work of the clothing bank has been disrupted. Most of the agencies we regularly supply with clothing are currently focusing on food distribution. We are taking this time to reorganize and make future plans.
In the last month, however, we have filled a request from the Firehouse Shelter for men’s jeans, shoes, and t-shirts. They have begun allowing women, who live on the street, to use their showers, so we also sent towels, women’s clothing, and underwear.
We also took a large donation of women’s, infants, and children’s clothes to Jessie’s Place. They serve women and children who are homeless.
We continue to welcome all donations of men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and shoes. We also accept sheets, blankets, and towels. William, at the front desk, can provide you with a receipt for your taxes.
If you know of an agency that might benefit from our service, please refer them to Janice Ford-Freeman at [email protected].
Our Family Promise families are coming in April, during Passover.
Passover, more than any other holiday on the Jewish calendar, requires us to empathize with the stranger in our midst as we recall our own people’s journey. We join together at the Seder to remember slavery in Egypt and recall what it was like to be a people wandering alone, with no one to come to our aid, without knowing where to turn. The story tells us we were strangers. And we can never forget what it was like to be strangers in a strange land.
Thousands of years later, we Jews never fully managed to shake the notion of being the stranger. We have never been totally accepted. Certainly, there are places in this world where we never will be. This is why we, of all of the faiths of the world, will always support the wanderers, the people cast aside and left alone with seemingly nowhere to turn.
Won’t you help the stranger by helping feed or assist in housing (by staying the night at Temple Emanu-El) the few homeless families from Family Promise this Passover? Commitments to help can be a couple of hours or overnight.
Family Promise of Birmingham
Family Promise of Birmingham (FPOB), founded in 1998 as the Birmingham Hospitality Network, is a network of 15 diverse faith organizations working together to provide safe, home-like lodging where homeless families can stay together while working to regain their independence.
There are a few local organizations that help homeless people, and FPOB is a drug-free organization that services a very small group of women and children (or small family units, including the father). On any given day, more than half the guests served by FPOB are children. We are happy to say that approximately 90% of the participants end up in permanent housing after their time with us.
Family Promise @ Temple Emanu-El
Temple Emanu-El, in conjunction with Temple Beth-El, has been successfully hosting Family Promise families for over 20 years! We are proud to say that we are a founding member of the Birmingham program. We host 3 to 4 times per year for 7 days at a time – Sunday to Sunday.
You can help Temple Emanu-El and Temple Beth-El help these families by volunteering to help set up/tear down, bring dinner, or to stay the night during this time. Future 2020 Family Promise Weeks @ Temple Emanu-El begins on July 19 and October 25.
To request more information or to be put on the list for future Family Promise volunteer opportunities, contact [email protected]